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Old 02-21-2008, 09:31 PM   #1
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Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

My bus conversion sure is taking a lot more time than I thought it would! I've had it for over a year now. Anyways, I'm going to start framing the inside walls this weekend. The only walls I will have, will be for the back bedroom, the bathroom walls, and the wall in front of the bunk area. Any suggestions? Should I build the wall sections before I put them in the bus? I'm going to tape off the floor plan in the bus just to be sure of what I want to do. Any other suggestions before I get started? I haven't worked on my bus in over two months. I've been real busy with work and other things. I'd like to get my bus to a liveable condition by the time the skoolie meet happens in June!
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:18 PM   #2
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Re: Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

I will send photos monday and show you how my walls turned out. Ol buster ain't fancy or nothin' just built him for deer camp for my grandkids and me. I just bought 3/4 plywood and cut it to fit then used little "ell brackets" that I got at home depot to fasten the plywood to the bus. The 3/4 plywood is heavy enough that no framing was required. That may not be fancy enough for a lot of people but it's good enough for us, pictures to follow.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:12 PM   #3
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Re: Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

I used those little 3x3 angle/corner brackets to attach my studs to the floor and ceiling and met with good success doing that. As far as the curve goes...I used cardboard templates. I still ended up with a little gap, but that was by design. I filled the area in with caulk which allows for some body flex because our buses DO flex an amazing amount.
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:19 PM   #4
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Re: Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

You know I've been wondering about that flexing the whole time I've been working on my trim. Guess I'll find out soon enough.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:17 AM   #5
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Re: Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

The flexing really isn't that bad. It just isn't something that should be ignored. My walls have some flex built into the framing. Around the edges the gap is about 1/8 of an inch. It really is not that much, but knock on wood I haven't had problems yet with the exception of one panel spitting out a screw or two, but that is more the fault of the fastener/installer. If you spin the screw once it bottoms out there really isn't much left for it to grab on.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:55 AM   #6
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Re: Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Webb
Also, an added bonus if I ever have to slam on my brakes you can watch TV and laugh; I'll be the the bus driver killed by flying wood stove. You only get to die once. It could be death by jacuzzi. How do you want to go? Anyway, secure those studs if you feel like you need too. You better do what they tell ya!
I don't know, but I'd rather die, making love, to a beautiful woman. Any takers?
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:39 AM   #7
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Re: Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

I know I'm venturing away from the original topic of framing walls, but I had to add something since people are bringing up the issue of the bus flexing. I examined the way a bus body is built, and I don't see any way it could rack or flex. It seems that would cause rivets to break and crack windows. I think of the bus body more as one solid unit that is separate from the chassis. If you go over a set of rough railroad tracks, it seems the entire body of the bus moves as one, rather than twisting itself. I'm no autobody specialisty by any means though. I plan on framing my walls like you would a house, with a bottom plate and studs 16" o.c. As far as fastening them to the roof, I like the angle brace idea someone else mentioned. I think that framing your walls tightly between floor and ceiling should add rigidity and strength to the body of the bus, in addition to providing support to the roof for those of us who already have, or plan on building a deck on top. I've put a lot of pine on my walls and once the spring comes and I get Buscephus out on the road I will find out how well it holds up to road vibrations and bumps.

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Old 02-24-2008, 06:32 PM   #8
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Re: Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

Those rivets are the reason it CAN flex, actually. If the body had been entirely welded there would be no flex and that is when cracks would result. It is much the same as the way ships or airplanes are built so as to be able to flex. We're not talking about an astronomical amount of flex here, but I bet you could get a solid inch, if not more, of twist from corner to corner front to rear. The chassis itself is actually rather pliable. The bus body certainly stiffens things up, but the flex is intentional as there either needs to be an allowance for flex or NO flex whatsoever. It is far easier to design for a little flex than to try and keep it from flexing at all...ever.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:25 PM   #9
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Re: Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

I'm not worried about flex. I know that my bus does flex, but I'm still screwing and gluing stuff down. It doesn't flex enough that it's going to rib cabinets off your ceiling or whatever.

Anyways, I am ready to start framing. I took masking tape and laid out my entire floor plan so I could visualize it first. I actually decided to move the bathroom to the passenger side and the bunks to the drivers side. It gives me more kitchen room. So, I spent the weekend getting it laid out like I want. I'm glad I decided to do that before I started building. I'm going to start the framing this weekend when I'm off. Hopefully, I can at least get all of the framing done.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:27 PM   #10
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Re: Getting ready to start framing. Any suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyaustintx
The Bath on the pass side, you might think about hook ups ( most or all are on the drivers side) at parks with tables ect on pass side and if you are partying outside under a canopy as some one is taking a dump as you take a deep breath price less just an idea it doesn't hurt to be different....
Most of the places I've ever dumped, you could pull in either way. Anyways, I wish my bus was about 5 feet longer and this wouldn't be a problem. I want the couch to be across from the driver so I can look over and see who I'm talking to. I also decided that I need a dinette. I want that right behind the driver. Deciding I needed a dinette was the biggest problem. If I don't have a dinette and just run my kitchen counter all the way up to the driver, then you can barely see out the windows when you're sitting on the couch. I already have the lower half of these windows painted over, and I had several comments from people that rode in my bus, about not being able to see out that side. Good point I thought. So, if I put a dinette there, then I can use the entire window and people sitting on the couch, can see out. If I were to just lower the kitchen counter, then the counter would be so low that it's annoying. To make it work, I need to put the bathroom on the passenger side. I don't think dumping will be too big of a problem. If I absolutely had to, I could just get a 20 foot hose and throw it under the bus and dump that way. Someday, when I upgrade to a 14 or 15 window TC2000 or All American FE, this won't be an issue.
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